Protest shuts down PNC shareholder meeting
A group concerned with the environmental effects of mountaintop removal coal mining descended on PNC Financial Services Group’s annual shareholders meeting Downtown this morning, disrupting the event and forcing Chairman and CEO James Rohr to abruptly shut it down.
Mr. Rohr tried to deliver his presentation inside the August Wilson Center, but was repeatedly interrupted by members of the Earth Quaker Action Team who took turns calling out the names of individual board members asking them to state their position on mountaintop mining.
After calling the protesters out of order, Mr. Rohr essentially threw up his hands and adjourned the meeting roughly 15 minutes after it began.
Earth Quaker, which has demonstrated at PNC’s annual meetings for three straight years, wants Pittsburgh’s biggest bank to stop lending money to companies that extract coal by shearing off the tops of mountains.
PNC last year said it no longer financed companies with a majority of their business tied to the practice.
But Earth Quaker executive director Amy Ward Brimmer said today that no companies fit that description.
“None of them do a majority of their business in mountaintop mining,” she said.
The group claims PNC remains one of the nation’s two largest financiers of mountaintop coal mining.
Ms. Brimmer said members decided to step up pressure on PNC this year because executives have refused to meet with them.
“This is the only way we can think to get their attention,” she said.
First Published April 23, 2013 12:27 am
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